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Things to know before you visit Moscow

Moscow is supposed to be something impressive and it really is. It’s a totally insane city full of raw and chaotic energy, concentrating 80% of the country’s money and 10% of its population. Moscow is uncomfortable and charming, filthy rich and desperately poor, fast-paced and lazy, trendy and kitschy – all at the same time. Unlikely contrasts are everywhere: fancy shops neighbor concrete shacks left from the Soviet times; crowds of star-gazing happy hipsters mix with rugged tired people with solemn and unhappy faces; Bentleys and BMWs share the busy chaotic traffic with half-destroyed old Ladas; and so on… As everywhere in Russia it’s like a mix of two worlds: Europe and Asia, democracy and communism, joy and grief, prosperity and poverty. Moscow could be just another capital, but it isn’t. Rather, the city is an exaggerated version of everything you can get in Russia, as if conforming to the local…

Nedeea Valceana – Brutally Beautiful

There is a place in Romania where nature has managed to stay unspoiled by civilization, where a whirling river is flowing through spectacular gorges, and its banks boast with centuries-old churches and many spas. The Olt Valley is one of the most spectacular and beautiful areas in Romania, between Căpăţânii, Lotru and Făgăraş mountains. Not far from Olt River there is a medieval village called Odai (Chambers) –  where you can only walk or ride. In the Early Middle Ages because of the many invaders, and also because the narrow valley of the Olt did not allow enough agricultural land for the people, the locals from this region climbed into the Lotru mountains. Here, in the heart of the mountain, at over 800 meters altitude, on all the slopes that had a southern opening to the sunlight, people established the small village called Odai. The village’s name identifies with his…

Cappadocia | The Ultimate Travel Guide

Thanks to the irresistible generosity of Mother Nature, Cappadocia (The Land of the Beautiful Horses) is a unique holiday place. The soil is formed of a very soft volcanic terrain, ash and lava eroded from volcanoes. Rivers, streams, snow and ice shaped this ground.  Erosion is the source of this supernatural landscape. However, Cappadocia’s bog reputation as being a magnificent place to visit is also thanks to the generous hospitality of its inhabitants. Cappadocia was strategically located at the crossroads of major communication and trading routes like the “silk road”, was also the cradle of different civilizations over the century. So, for sure you will be amazed by these discoveries. When to go Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to visit Cappadocia. The weather is moderate with cooler temperatures and thinner crowds. Summer can get pretty hot and it’s the busiest time of the year with tourists flocking in.…

Green Tour | Visit the Derinkuyu undergrown city with the Green Tour

If you really want to see everything that Cappadocia has to offer, beside the Red Tour, you must book also the Green Tour that covers the Southeast Part of the region. From ancient underground cities to spectacular viewpoints, the Green Tour take you in the highlight of Cappadocia’s southern Landscape. Pigeon Valley We started our tour with the Pigeon Valley, which we enjoyed from above. The time we visited there were not so many pigeon but we might say that it was too early in the morning 🙂 The name comes from the thousands of pigeon houses that have been carved into the soft tuff since ancient times. Although they can be found throughout Cappadocia, they are especially numerous in this valley. They were carved wherever space allowed, including abandoned cave houses and churches. In Cappadocia, pigeons have long been a source of food and fertilizer. The advent of chemical…

Red Tour | Discover the land of the Fairy Chimneys with the Red Tour

Seeing Cappadocia in one day is almost impossible, so the local companies have divided the region into 2 main tours The Red tour and the Green tour (other options are available but these 2 are the most popular). Today we will cover the Cappadocia Red Tour aka North Cappadocia Tour. If you are looking for a good value tour that captures much of the key sites of Cappadocia, then the Red Tour is a good option. This tour is offered by nearly every travel agency in Cappadocia. Some agencies may have different names for it, but it is pretty much the same. We went with the Gorgeous Travel agency for the Red Tour, and we enjoyed so much that we booked with them almost everything that they had on the list. As I said before, we prefer to explore on our own. In Cappadocia the interest points are spread out…

Sleeping in a Cave Hotel in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is honeycombed with caves. Many were built by hand in the soft volcanic rock hundreds if not thousands of years ago. The caves have been used as homes, monasteries, churches and now hotels. In Goreme alone there are over 30 cave hotels offering everything from one star to five star accommodation. I’ll be honest; the thought of sleeping in a cave hotel in Cappadocia was one of the reasons, among many, why I had decided to spend my birthday there. Cappadocia in Turkey’s central Anatolian region, truly is right out of a fairytale with a spectacular landscape of caves, fairy chimneys, pinnacles and unique soft rock formations as a result of volcanic activity and erosion. We’d chosen to base ourselves in the town of Goreme because accommodation here had fit perfectly into our budget and we would be close to our areas of interest. We booked our accommodation via…

Flying in a Hot Air Balloon over Cappadocia at Down

Ballooning is popular in France’s Loire Valley and in Egypt’s Luxor on the Nile, but it’s even more popular in Cappadocia, in central Turkey. In Central Anatolia region, there is a place of captivating landscapes unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It is called Cappadocia and it is voted one of the best places to fly a hot air balloon in the world. It’s an extraordinarily popular tourist activity, and in the high season there can be up to hundreds balloons in the sky each morning. So we had to try it. Few days before arriving to Cappadocia, we contacted our hotel, Badrock Cave Hotel, and ask if they can help us with some advice and with the booking for the Balloons company. And they were very nice and sent us a list with all the details necessary to be able to make our choice. With some companies to choose…

Top 12 awesome things to do in Cappadocia

In more ways than one, Cappadocia will leave you breathless. The rough, yet elegant landscape of Cappadocia kept me daydreaming for many years. We were able to visit this famous region of central Anatolia this year, at the end of May. From the ground with its caves and selenic look to the hot air balloons flying over the land of Fairy Chimneys, Cappadocia will take your breath away. We’ve been to many beautiful places during our travels but none as remarkable as this. Without a doubt one of the unique landscapes on the planet, if Cappadocia isn’t on your bucket list, then it should be 1. Stay in a typical Cappadocia Cave Hotel Cappadocia is honeycombed with caves. Many were built by hand in the soft volcanic rock hundreds if not thousands of years ago. The caves have been used as homes, monasteries, churches and now hotels. In Göreme alone…

Gura Portiţei – a piece of heaven in Danube Delta 

Although I visited a huge part of Romania, I have never reached Gura Portiţei. This area consists of more fishing villages lived by Lipovans. What are Lipovans? Lipovans are mostly Russians who settled in the Danube area, in Romania. They migrated from Russia in the 18th century, when the Patriarch Nikon changed the Russian Orthodox Church rules in 1652. They refused the new changes and carried on worshiping in the “old ways”. In that sense, they continued to speak Old Russian language, kept their beards and worship ideas. The Russian government and the Orthodox Church persecuted them, and as a result, some committed suicide by burning themselves, and many other being forced to emigrate. They settled along the Prut River in Moldavia and in the Danube Delta. They have maintained strong religious traditions of the Old Russian Orthodox Church. How do they look like? They are tall, bony with long beards, light eyebrows and cold blue…